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Rudi: Tuesday night is much more than a derby

Midfielder after Mark Bowen's first game in charge of the Dons

3 April 2022

Jack Rudoni’s focus immediately shifted to a big home game on Tuesday evening, after the Dons left Hillsborough with nothing to show for their efforts.

“It’s not just a South London derby, we know the circumstances,” said Rudi with preparing to face Charlton already in mind. “We need a win and we’ll be going out there fighting to get one.”

Lee Gregory’s injury-time winner for promotion-chasing Sheffield Wednesday to make it 2-1 yesterday sparked scenes of mass relief amongst a frustrated home support, as Mark Bowen’s Dons had looked as if they would come away with a point from his first game in charge.

“The gaffer said that he was very encouraged by the performance,” said Rudi. “I think we were deep down, but in the moment for us as players and everyone in the dressing room it was very hard to take. We just have to go again and listen to the coaches and the gaffer, work on it in training and prepare well for Tuesday.

“It hurt a lot, but it could have gone either way. I think we stuck to the game plan. We just lacked focus for two moments and they capitalised on that and scored. We just need to take a lot of positives from the game and keep focusing on ourselves and where we’re going and make sure that we bounce back on Tuesday.”

It could have been so different though, as Rudi teed up fellow Academy graduate Ayoub Assal for what would have been his second of the game, only for Wednesday keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell to make a vital save inside the final ten minutes.

“That’s how football goes,” said Rudi. “If Ayoub puts that one away and we hold out and win 2-1 we’re talking in a very different mood. Football is harsh sometimes and you can’t dwell on it and you’ve got to get back on the training pitch and focus on the next game.

“That’s also a little positive that two home grown talents who have come through in Zach and Ayoub (pictured) created a great goal. We just want to keep scoring more goals - whoever it is who is scoring - we want to generate chances, score goals and get those points on the board."

You can see the full interview with Jack Rudoni below, via the video link to our official YouTube channel.

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